The intensified efforts by the military in the mission to clear terrorists from all territories under their control in Nigeria’s north-east yielded positive results on Monday, as some terrorists disguised as women have been arrested.
The arrests were made after a cordon and search was declared in Baga while the military also discovered arms, especially bombs, hidden in various locations, peculiar to the town.
A spokesman for the military, Major General Chris Olukolade, said that apart from the terrorists captured in the course of fighting, many others hiding in the town, were arrested and “troops are busy interrogating the suspects”.
Meanwhile, in furtherance of the mission to clear terrorists from all their enclaves by the military, the Nigerian Air Force had also stepped up its air bombardment of identified targets in Gwoza, Bama and Sambisa forest, preparatory to other phases of the mission.
“The air strikes had been highly successful as they achieved the aims, hitting vital targets with required precision.
“Having successfully liberated Baga where the terrorists had been marauding, the troops’ attention has now been focused on consolidation of security of the area to pave way for return of citizens,” Major General Olokolade said in a statement.“Terrorists are now in disarray as they scamper to escape from the impact of air bombardment of their locations in the forest.
After the Nigerian military, backed by air strikes, recaptured the town of Baga from the Boko Haram sect, Major General Olukolade said five anti aircraft guns and the rifles, over 34 motorcycles and five vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting.
The Defence spokesman further noted that “counter-terrorism operations were being carried out in over 15 locations – Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kauwa.
Baga is situated at Nigeria’s border with Chad, Niger and Cameroon and is the headquarters of a Multi National Joint Task Force comprising troops from all four countries.
The Nigerian Military had said it was updating tactics against the Boko Haram Sect, with the addition of 260 Aerospace Engineers that graduated from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Kaduna State to the Air Force.
As the onslaught against the insurgents in the northeast gathers momentum, there are indications that the Nigerian military is directing efforts towards capturing the leader of the Boko Haram sect alive.
The military is believed to have resolved to take Shekau alive to put an end to insinuations of the invincibility of the militant leader, especially against past announcements of his demise by the military, which turned out not to have been accurate.